Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Running and Friendship

The other night on my way home from a run I was thinking about friends and how I'm lucky to have so many of them.  I would say the majority of my friends are people I know from the running community.  I'm a pretty shy person (although most of you probably wouldn't realize it), so I didn't have many friends growing up.  And when I stopped to think about how many friends I have now, it was shocking.  Ever since I got into running, specifically trail and ultrarunning, my network of amazingly supportive friends has grown exponentially.  One running friend in particular, has influenced my life and the way I interact with people.  Debbie Webster might be one of the most positive, fun, loving individuals I've ever known.  From the day we met, she's always treated me like family.  And I'm not the only one who gets the special treatment.  She spreads the love around to everyone she meets!  Her personality is infectious, in a good way!  As a person who is prone to being sort of grinchy, i.e. not going out of my way to make friends, not being the type of the person to express my feelings and not being the type of person who hugs everybody, I think I've made some good strides (not all the way there) in degrinchifying myself.  I'm 100% into the hugs now, but I would say I need to make improvements in reaching out to people.  I owe a lot of what I've become over the past couple years to Debbie and all of my wonderful running friends who never cease to amaze me by the lengths they will go to support their fellow runners...or anyone!

Sarah Mueller, a friend who I was extremely honored to pace in her first 50-miler on Sunday, surprisingly captured the thoughts that had been running through my head over the past few days in her race report.  "I know our ultra-running goals seem silly and arbitrary to some (and maybe they are), but I also know that ultras give us a chance to practice being the best versions of ourselves, versions we hope show up in "real life," too. Versions that are OK with being humbled, know how to accept help, know how to give help selflessly, know how to go beyond our limits, and know how to encourage others to do the same."  I just wanted to let all you runners know that you're awesome and I'm so lucky to have you, and thank you for helping me be a better person!



  1. OK, now I'm tearing up a little bit. Thanks for all you've done to make me feel part of the running community, down to making me a special shirt! You know I can be a bit of a running loner sometimes (and just a loner, period), and I appreciate how you bring me back into the fray. Honored you quoted me on your blog!

  2. I'm tearing up too! I never would have met all these wonderful people if it hadn't been for you. You told me about the group runs and you were this awesome chick who could run a 50k! All the inspiration I needed.